“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
In my case, life is what happens when I’m trying to meet my deadline. Yesterday, while I was chatting on an author interview, I was asked how life changes after you get ‘The Call.’ It sounded like a good idea for a blog, and since I’d been wracking my brain trying to come up with just that, I made a note of it and enjoyed the rest of the chat.
I awoke this morning, made my 15-foot commute to my office, and sipped my coffee as I sat on the exercise ball I use in lieu of a desk chair, quietly thinking. Okay, all of us who have children home on summer vacation and animals know that quiet is relative. So I hid in my office while I bounced on my ball and thought about how life had changed in the year since I sold Romeo, Romeo. While I was trying to think quietly in between no less than five interruptions, I realized that my best-laid plans for meeting my deadline were blown to smithereens because life happens.
I’ve discovered that every one of life’s trials and tribulations gives me, a newly published author, the opportunity for an invaluable learning experience and perhaps ideas for a new scene or book. For instance, my dogs decided to take a jaunt to our local Wal-Mart and got a one-way ticket to the pound. The hour drive to the pound to spring the dogs from ‘The Pen,’ gave me the uninterrupted time on my cell phone –which, as you can imagine, is at a premium. I was able to discuss the copyedits for Romeo, Romeo with my editor who, unlike me, got a kick out of Sambuca and Jasmine’s shopping spree and subsequent incarceration.
My dogs’ escape taught me that you can get work done just about anywhere and everyone really does shop at Wal-Mart.
At the same time, my sister, whom I love and adore, returned for a two-week stay to recover from her second total knee replacement—barely a month after the weeks she spent with us while recuperating from her first. In the midst of all this, I’m driving my budding ballerina of a daughter to her dance school, a three-hour roundtrip four times a week.
I don’t have a private duty nurse, a chauffeur, a ghostwriter, a shrink on speed dial, or the magical ability necessary to add another eight hours to each day so I’ve learned to cope.
Now, my MacBook Air and I have become fixtures in both my daughter’s dance school and the nearby café. I learned that earplugs do more than allow you to sleep through the snores of your significant other. They are priceless when one finds it necessary to write in the midst of a gaggle of badly behaved children wearing tights, or while Oprah is blaring in the background. Luckily, my daughter has warned the aforementioned badly behaved tight-wearers that I growl if interrupted while writing, and the owner of the café knows that I drink coffee by the gallon. He’s learned from experience that if he has something to say he needs to wave, because when he taps me on the shoulder, I’ll startle and spill my coffee—more likely than not all over him.
Despite my delusional tendencies, I really thought I had a handle on successfully mixing my life and my work. Then I received an email requesting a one-week turn around on copy proofs for Romeo, Romeo that are slated to arrive ten days before If You Can’t Stand The Heat… is due on my editors desk.
Still, even with all the pressure, and the threat to my sanity or perhaps the loss of my sanity, I love what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Although I’d like to try doing it sailing on a 100-foot yacht in the South Pacific.
Told you I was delusional!